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Home arrow Economics arrow Children and Forced Migration: Durable Solutions During Transient Years


Using data from a microempirical research study of South Sudanese resettlement in Australia, this chapter examined the relationship between differential acculturation and intergenerational conflict and violence among refugee families, and the efficacy of subsequent governmental intervention. What emerged is a paradox. Although South Sudanese- Australian parents are highly motivated to raise their children to become responsible and successful adults, their traditional parenting style and isolation from the broader society have left their children unsupported; confused; and, in some instances, victims of physical abuse. Subsequent interventions from government authorities have in many cases failed to be responsive to the needs and unique circumstances for refugee families. The absence of responsiveness in governmental institutions is not unique to the refugee population. Nonetheless, the impact can be more severe on refugee populations highly strained because of the rapid breakdown of their family and social support structures, and their significant social and economic disadvantage. This chapter argued for procedural reforms among government and social institutions when working with refugee families, including adequate engagement with families and their appointed community representatives. Enduring and sustainable support of refugee children and youth can only occur through working in genuine partnerships with all members of refugee families and the communities supporting them.

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